Client Success Story: Celeste

Celeste has three children. While Celeste and her former husband were still living together, he called her asking her to come home from taking the children to the YWCA. As they discussed separation and divorce, the situation escalated. He began waving a gun around threatening suicide. The children were right inside the home and could have walked into this situation at any time. When Celeste called the police, the husband left the home. He was charged with a crime and a No-Contact Order was issued. Celeste fled that night and remained at her parents’ home with the children until the first court hearing in which the court ordered him out of the home.

Celeste obtained a temporary protection order. Despite the order being in place, he continued to contact her, violating the order by sending text messages, being within 500’ of the home, and driving by as a passenger in his brother’s vehicle, among other things. Consistent with batterer behavior, he dropped her car insurance (the vehicle in which she transports the children), cancelled the wholesale club membership (where she buys food for the children), and cancelled her cell phone and her daughter’s cell phone.

Ultimately, through ELAP’s staff attorney’s excellent legal work, the court ordered a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) protecting Celeste and her children, dismissing an order the father had secured, and finding that he had committed domestic violence and exhibited classic batterer behavior. The court ordered him into batterer intervention, sent him to the DV Dads group, and ordered a mental health assessment and professionally supervised visitation. The court will only entertain a motion for family supervised visitation after 60 days of the batterer intervention program has been completed. ELAP made it possible for Celeste and her children obtain the protection they needed and helped to lay the foundation for a more stable future.